AMD Graphics Roadmap Reveals Fiji Replacement

One of the biggest concerns about Polaris 10 has been whether or not it will be a true replacement for Fury X. With the latest leaks out, most of the information points to about 100W TDP with 2304 shaders and clock speeds around 1050Mhz. Compared to Nvidia’s Pascal GP104, this doesn’t sound very competitive, leading to concerns that Nvidia would dominate the high-end. With the release today of AMD’s more detailed roadmap, our concerns have been laid to rest.

The new official roadmap offers a bit more detail than the one AMD showed back at Capsaicin. The new one offers more detail around Polaris 10 and 11, with both chips working to replace the entire Fury and 300 series lineup. This means the top Polaris 11 chip will offer enough performance to at least match, if not exceed Fury X. This should be competitive enough against GP104. If the 2304 shader report is true, AMD has truly revamped GCN 4.0 into something that is significantly superior to GCN 1.0 while cutting power consumption at the same time.

The layout for Polaris compared to the current lineup also suggests there will be no rebrands for the 400 series. It suggests that Polaris 10 will go from about 490X to 480 while Polaris 11 will fill in 470X down to at least 460. With how well small die low power Polaris 11 has done, rebrands don’t really make any sense. Finally, Vega will drop in 2017 with HBM2 and not in late 2016 as some have hoped.

With the improvements AMD has done, I am really looking forward to what Polaris and GCN 4.0 will bring to the graphics landscape.

AMD Project Quantum Successor May Feature Zen and Vega

Back at E3 2015 nearly a year ago, AMD showed off their Project Quantum PC featuring 2 Fiji GPUs in a tiny form factor. Ironically, the feature AMD device used an Intel CPU instead of an AMD one and ended up using a single Fury chip instead of the dual Fiji we have come to know as the Radeon Pro Duo. Along with supply issues, we likely won’t see Project Quantum for a while. According to Diit though, when it does arrive, it will use AMD’s own Zen CPU and new Vega GPUs.

The main reason AMD chose to use an Intel CPU was simple. AMD CPUs were not up to snuff and with the Project Quantum aimed at being the best, it required a top-end CPU, one from Intel. With Zen set to debut later this year though, AMD has a chance to showcase the potential of their chip, showing that is capable of driving the fastest graphics cards out there without holding anything back.

On the graphics side, the delay on the CPU side means Vega, the full-on Fiji replacement with HBM2 will have a chance at Project Quantum. Vega should have no trouble beating FuryX and potentially even the Radeon Pro Duo. By delaying, AMD also reaps the benefits of moving the entire system to 14nm FinFETs, finally making the true VR PC for those that want the best.

AMD Greenland/Vega may be Fiji Replacement at 4096 GCN Shaders

This year, both AMD and Nvidia will be launching their new Polaris and Pascal based GPUs. Unfortunately, it looks like the flagship chips won’t be arriving till next year. Set to arrive in early 2017, Vega, also known as Greenland, is to be the flagship replacement for Fiji. According to information 3DCenter dug up, Vega will feature 4096 GCN shaders, the same amount as Fiji currently has.

With Polaris and Vega, there are suggestions that AMD has managed to improve GCN 4.0’s performance by 30% compared to current GCN offerings. This alone should allow a significant performance increase over the Fury X. Fiji was also limited due to the design of GCN being unoptimized for massive chips with too many shaders and if AMD has managed to fix this, Vega will perform better than expected.

Furthermore, Vega will utilize HBM2 which will finally remove the 4GB cap faced by HBM GPUs as well as reduce latency. The use of 14nm as well and other Polaris improvements will also allow for a cooler and less power hungry die. We can also expect Vega to come in at a die size similar to Hawaii rather than Fiji, with a true Fiji size successor to come later on in the process cycle.

More AMD Polaris 10 Details Revealed

In the few days after AMD first demoed Polaris 10 to us at Capsaicin, more details about the upcoming graphics cards have been revealed. Set to be the big brother to the smaller Polaris 11, the better performing chip will drop sometime after June this year.

First off, we’re now able to bring you more information about the settings Hitman was running at during the demo. At Ultra Settings and 1440p, Polaris 10 was able to keep to a constant 60FPS, with VSync being possible. This means the minimum FPS did not drop below 60 at any point. This puts the card at least above the R9 390X and on par if no better than the Fury and Fury X. Of course, the demo was done with DX12 but the boost is only about 10% in Hitman.

Another detail we have uncovered is the maximum length of the engineering sample. Based on the Cooler Master Elite 110 case used, the maximum card length is 210mm or 8.3 inches. In comparison, the Nano is 6 inches and the Fury X 7.64 inches. Given the small size, one can expect Polaris 10 to be as power efficient as Polaris 11 and potentially be using HBM. Given that Vega will be the cards to debut HBM2, Polaris 10 may be limited to 4GB of VRAM. Finally, display connectivity is provided by 3x DP 1.3, 1x HDMI 2.0 and 1 DVI-D Dual Link though OEMs may change this come launch unless AMD locks it down.

AMD Unveils Upcoming GPU Roadmap – Capsaicin

Even as Polaris approaches us quickly within 3 months, the planning for its successor has long been in the works. At their Capsaicin event, AMD took off the wraps for their upcoming GPU plans with a roadmap detailing the planned releases up till 2019. In keeping with the star nomenclature that started with Polaris and ditching the islands, we will have Vega and then Navi following Polaris.

Starting off with Polaris later this year, AMD’s main selling point it seems is the 2.5x performance per watt the new GCN architecture will bring. This is no doubt due to the combination of improved hardware itself, the new 14nm LPP process and DX12 finally making use of the previously wasted hardware resources like asynchronous controllers and shaders.

Moving along, we have Vega to release in what looks to be early 2017. The biggest change it seems is the use of HBM2, replacing GDDR5(X) and HBM1 no doubt. This means we can no doubt expected all Vega releases to utilize HBM2. While this may suggest Polaris won’t be using HBM2, it could also mean that only certain Polaris chips, likely only the high-end ones, will use HBM2.

Finally, we come to Navi, which should debut in early 2018. This release will have scalability and use of next-gen memory like Hyper-Memory Cube for instance. The scalability mention suggests either the use of smaller GCN units used to build the chip to better suit the market or a new process node. For now, we are probably better off trying to figure out what Polaris will be

A Look At Time Magazines Selected Space Images Of 2015

Long lasting American magazine “Time” has recently announced a selected list of 55 space images that have captured the imagination of readers and experts alike, below is a look at just a few of these amazing and awe-inspiring pics.

Below is a fantastic image that was captured by The Hubble Space Telescope of the Eagle Nebula “Pillars of Creation”, this was published in January 2015 and it is an incredible image, the detail certainly captures the imagination of space for both budding and also veteran astronomers.   

The image below was captured by the New Horizons spacecraft of Pluto in July 2015, “The New Horizons mission is helping NASA understand worlds at the edge of the solar system by making the first reconnaissance of the dwarf planet Pluto and by venturing deeper into the distant, mysterious Kuiper Belt – a relic of solar system formation”.   The image is fantastic and conveys a world that has previously been out of reach for explorers.  

Below is an image that was captured of an Orbital ATK Antares rocket which exploded just after launching from Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, on Oct. 28, 2014. The rocket was carrying an unmanned Cygnus spacecraft filled with NASA cargo, this image was finally released in 2015.  The image feels as if it has just been lifted from a blockbuster movie set or a newly released video game, certainly a spectacular image.

This image below is of Astronaut Scott Kelly who re-entered the International Space Station (ISS) after a space walk, as you do, the image is again spectacular and was released in October 2015. 

The final image was released in December 2015 and is of the Vega rocket that was launched with the aim of testing a variety of methods to detect gravitational waves, the image was released in December 2015. The image certainly conveys the power needed to propel a rocket into space.

4K Capable Android Tronsmart Vega S89 Media Hub Coming Soon

Anyone In the market for a new Android set-top box might be interested in the new Tronsmart Vega S89 which will soon be available to purchase from both Amazon and Geekbuying.

The technology market is currently awash in a sea of Android powered devices, smart-TV adaptors, streaming boxes, digital-things-galore, so it’s getting harder and harder to get a grip on which ones are worth buying and which ones are worth avoiding, especially given many feature attractive specifications and relatively low price tags. One that has caught our eye is the new Tronsmart Vega s89, not the catchiest name I’ll admit, but the specifications speak for themselves.

The Tronsmart Vega S89 is powered by a Amlogic S802 Cortex-A9 Quad Core Up to 2.0Ghz supported by Mali-450 graphics supported by 2GB of RAM and comes supplied running Google’s Android 4.4 Kitkat operating system. With that you’ll get support for dual band wireless using the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands, and support for 4K Ultra HD at 3840 x 2160.

Additionally you’ll find 16GB of built-in storage, 2 x USB ports, 1 x micro USB port, 1 x micro SD card slot, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11n WiFi, HDMI 1.4b, S/PDIF and a built in IR sensor for remote control support.

With 4K support, the latest version of Android, and plenty of connectivity options, this could make for a very affordable hub for anyone looking to invest in a 4KTV. More details on pricing will be available soon and the device is expected to hit Amazon in the next couple of weeks.

Thank you Geeky Gadgets for providing us with this information.

 

Image courtesy of Tronsmart.